Systemic failure nr 4: Logical fallacies rule the debate around changing school

Here’s the forth systemic failure:

The debate is ultimately springing from logical fallacies for example authority beliefs (the teacher knows best), cherry picking (too many to mention), anecdotical evidence (old school worked for “me”), ad hominem (anyone outside school criticizing the education system is stupid).


The debate about school and the education system is very infected sometimes. Everyone has a viewpoint and of course have the need to blame everyone else or specific groups when the so called results are in “free fall” as in Sweden (oh, there’s another two systemic failures, by the way).

Ironically school itself hasn’t been able to educate people and decision makers enough to secure it’s own right of existence.

Oh, but logical fallacies is the subject, oh my. Here are the most common:

  1. Anecdotical evidence: “-Old school did it for me, see how good I am”, “-Back then we respected the teacher” – well, times are a changing. And reality changes. So really, beating up kids, learning by fear and learning to become stupid is nowadays… stupid.
  2. Personal attacks / Ad hominem: – when lack of sound arguments (on why we should have homework for example), it always ends with the argument that the one not working in school must be stupid because they’re not working in school or simply because he/she is stupid.
  3. Cherry picking: – this is about selecting data that suits someone’s own purposes and at the same time ignore the data that does not. It can, for example, be a case of selecting 1 scientific article saying grades are good for the students but then ignore 100 others which does not. Or making decisions because of a PISA study that the students aren’t even motivated to participate in. It can also be about trudging into a classroom, “take the temperature” and then make conclusions about every school nationwide. 
  4. Strawman: – very common. As soon as someone breathes creativity in school, he or she becomes the accused to stand for complete permissiveness, or if someone advocates ICT in school, then students should be left alone in front of a computer. If you want to discuss values ​​and democratic principles then you are suddenly placed in a hippie collective and believes students should exit school as total illiterates. Suddenly you are against knowledge. Example: After Will said that we should put more money into health and education, Warren responded by saying that he was surprised that Will hates our country so much that he wants to leave it defenceless by cutting military spending.

I’m thinking that school determines societies and not the other way around + that what I see in school now – I will pay for in 20-30 years when I’m isolated in some elderly institution. It scares me. I also believe that schools are responsible for how society is run today where politicians (good at talking the loudest), financial administrators (narrow-minded worldview), lawyers (those who can memorize books the best), journalists (that can quickly study something and produce a result in minutes), doctors (the kings and queens of specialisation with the highest grades). All others like artists, dancers, musicians, entrepreneurs, authors, leaders are NOT ruling the world. To be looking at society holistically is something for philosophers and not engineers. 

My arguments might be based on fear, but I’m practising thinking opportunities & creativity instead of focusing on problem solving. I’m learning.

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